Roberto Cofresí bigraphy, stories - Puerto Rican pirate

Roberto Cofresí : biography

June 17, 1791 - March 29, 1825

Roberto Cofresí (June 17, 1791 – March 29, 1825), better known as "El Pirata Cofresí," was the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico. He was captured and executed by firing squad on March 29, 1825, along with other members of his crew.

Cofresí's life story, particularly in its Robin Hood "steal from the rich, give to the poor" aspect, has become legendary in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of Latin America. It has inspired countless songs, poems, books and films. The entire town of Cofresí, near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, was named after him., Retrieved Oct. 30, 2007


Cofresí's life and death have inspired several myths and stories. These included those depicting him as a generous figure, who used to share what he stole with the region's poor population. In these myths he is generally described as a benevolent person, with authors writing about his supposed personality. These portray him as a noble gentleman who became a pirate out of necessity; as a generous man, claiming that on one occasion he went as far as saving the life of a baby in a confrontation and providing money for his upbringing and as a brave man, showing disregard for his life on several occasions. Other myths and stories describe Cofresí as an evil or demonic figure. Among them there are myths that claim that during his life he had sold his soul to the devil in order to "defeat men and be loved by women".

Accounts of apparitions of his spirit include versions claiming that when summoned in medium sections, the strength of Cofresí's spirit was excessive, to the point of killing some of the hosts he possessed. A Fiat Lux, a magazine published in Cabo Rojo, notes that several persons in that municipality have said that they have witnessed the pirate's spirit. In the Dominican Republic, folktales attribute magic abilities to Cofresí; these say that he was able to make his boat disappear when surrounded. This was based on a hideout that he had established in a cave located in a nearby beach.

Cofresí has been the subject of numerous biographical books which include the following:

  • "El Marinero, Bandolero, Pirata y Contrabandista Roberto Cofresí"; (Spanish) by Walter R. Cardona Bonet
  • "The Pirate of Puerto Rico" by Lee Cooper
  • "El Mito de Cofresí en la Narrativa Antillana" (Spanish) by Robert Fernandez Valledor
  • "Das Kurze Heldenhafte Leben Des Don Roberto Cofresí" (German) by Angelika Mectel and
  • "Roberto Cofresí: "El Bravo Pirata de Puerto Rico" (Spanish) by Edwin Vazquez.

Other kinds of tributes have been made to commemorate Cofresí throughout the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, a monument to Cofresí was built by Jose Buscaglia Guillermety in Boquerón Bay, a water body located in Cabo Rojo. The town of Cofresí, 10 km west of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic was named after him.

Early years

Cofresí (birth name: Roberto Cofresí y Ramírez de Arellano ) was born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. His father was Franz von Kupferschein (1751–1814) and of Austrian descent, born in Trieste, a free city of the Holy Roman Empire. According to Professor Ursula Acosta, a historian and member of the Puerto Rican Genealogy Society, the Kupferschein family emigrated from Austria to Trieste, where Franz von Kupferschein was known as Francesco Confersin. Immigrants were required by the Italian authorities to adopt Italian-sounding names. When Francesco Confersin (Franz von Kupferschein) immigrated to Puerto Rico, he went to live in the coastal town of Cabo Rojo and changed his name to Francisco Cofresí, which made it much easier for the Spanish authorities to pronounce."New Voices of Old- Five centuries of Puerto Rican Cultural History" by Ursula Acosta, Pg. 89, Published 1987 by Permanent Press, ISBN 0-915393-20-4

Francisco Cofresí met and married María Germana Ramírez de Arellano, whose father was the cousin of Nicolás Ramírez de Arellano, the founder of Cabo Rojo. The couple had four children: a daughter by the name of Juana, and three sons—Juan Francisco, Ignacio, and their youngest, Roberto. Roberto Cofresí was four years old when his mother died."New Voices of Old- Five centuries of Puerto Rican Cultural History" by Ursula Acosta, Pg. 91, Published 1987 by Permanent Press, ISBN 0-915393-20-4

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine